Paco Osuna is techno’s quiet achiever. Crafting quality tunes for almost two decades, the producer/DJ is a legend in his native Spain, cultivating a fiercely loyal following amongst Barcelona’s clubbing elite.
His long career has seen him work alongside underground heroes including Sven Väth, Richie Hawtin and Marco Carola, holding down residencies at each of their much-respected Ibiza nights, plus setting up his own imprint, Mindshake Records, and successful club night, Club4.
Location: Madrid, Spain
16-years-young and still fresh as a baby, FABRIK remains one of Madrid’s crown clubbing jewels, and continues to set a high standard for nocturnal options across the whole of Spain, with a music policy can’t be easily pigeon-holed and high-spec tech to boot.
Over the last 12 months, the venue has seen some significant alterations and improvements, including the addition of a new open-air stage and dancefloor, plus extra indoor space known as the Club Area, with its DJ booth situated in the centre of the room. Bookings, meanwhile, have been heavyweight as ever, from Carl Cox, Modeselektor and Jeff Mills to Jamie Jones, Adam Beyer and Joris Voorn, with residents Cesar Almena, Nuke and Raul Ortiz, a.k.a. Overman, representative of the in-house talent.
Club-night CODE continues to do it for the techno heads, while NATURA brings housier edges to the heads down tones, running on Sundays throughout summer. This is also one of the regular homes-from-home for Elrow, another name in this year’s Top 100 Clubs poll, welcoming some of the brand’s most spectacular productions to take full advantage of a custom-designed soundsystem by Tecnare — more than enough to thump it out.
Location: Madrid, Sapin
Fabrik is Madrid’s leading super-club. Hidden slightly out of town on an industrial estate, it is a truly huge hangar-like structure that welcomes thousands each weekend. The last year has seen the place do what they do best, with few changes. Parties like Supermartxe and Goa are long-running affairs that bring people from all over Europe to worship at the raised DJ booth inside; while nights such as CODE, elRow, La Resistencia and 150 mix up everything from trance to techno to old school to hard style on rotation. Residents Raul Ortiz, Cesar Almena and Nuke are also much-loved crowd favourites.
Oversized CO2 cannons, immersive lights and lasers and confetti explosions add to the intensity of the experience, as do the big name bookings. Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice, Sven Väth, Marco Carola, Carl Cox and Jeff Mills are just some of those who have played the three different rooms and terrace in the last year. The soundsystem is the last generation of Tecnare and there’s a huge LED screen behind the DJ booth, which changes up according to the musical mood of each event.
Comparisons are a mainstay of clubland chatter, with DJs, music, sound, events and venues undoubtedly receiving the most consideration. But, isolated on the outskirts of the city, there is simply nothing in Madrid comparable to the gargantuan Fabrik. If there was any comparison to be made it would surely be to the sights and atmosphere attained en masse at a festival, Fabrik's vast lighting rigs and LED screens servicing over 3,500, largely inside its two main, hangar-like rooms. But, of course, unlike an annual festival, Fabrik's Tecnare soundsystems can be experienced each weekend.
Despite the lack of any close competitor, the purpose built, 13-year-old space constantly tries to improve the experience on offer, and in the past year a new outdoor stage has been added beside the water feature and palm trees on its outdoor terrace area.
The biggest and best on the circuit play here. The likes of Sven Väth, Marco Carola, Carl Cox, Underworld, Jeff Mills, Laurent Garnier, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Solomun, Rødhåd and Maceo Plex have dropped by to join residents Raul Ortiz, Cesar Almena and Nuke in the last 12 months with techno night CODE, classics night La Resistencia and Elrow being some of its key nights.
Fabrik with a K is about one of the largest European clubs outside of Ibiza. Being based on an estate a little way outside of Madrid means that the crowds who fill the vast industrial space really want to be there. They are not mere tourists (although proper techno tourists do often make the trip from all corners of Europe). As such, each night is an intense experience with mega ice cannons, a myriad of colourful dancers, pyrotechnics and sermon-like techno parties that have thousands of people marching as one to whatever sounds are on offer that night.
As well as two main hangar rooms all decked out with grand steel lighting rigs, there is an outdoor terrace with its own river and a newer Satellite area. As well as some cheesy offerings, there are plenty of decent dos with the likes of Claptone and Jamie Jones, Kenny Larkin and Nina Kraviz all conducting proceedings from high up in the raised DJ booth. Parties like SuperMartxé and the carnival atmospheres of Goa and SuperGoa, plus touring events like Elrow, all ensure a broad spectrum is on display at this purpose built and perfectly functional rave space.
Located on the outskirts of Madrid, the largest city and capital of Spain, Fabrik opened in 2003 and has no connection to London club Fabric — and, in truth, bears little resemblance to it. Fabrik Spain is basically two huge purpose-built hangars and an outdoor terrace with its own river (no less!), with assorted ice machines and massive lighting rigs to complement the huge nights they host every weekend. And just lately they've added an extra area called Satellite to balance the huge main room.
Because of its location on the outskirts of the city, Fabrik can blast out music as loud as it likes — handy when you've had techno cats such as Dave Clarke, Chris Liebing, Marco Carola, Umek, Derrick May, Sven Väth and Joseph Capriati shaking its foundations with bone-rattling tech.
You might see the aforementioned techno bods at Fabric London too, but you certainly wouldn't see Nicky Romero, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Headhunterz and Wildstylez — acts more of the EDM/hardstyle persuasion. It's that mix of mainstream and underground that has punters flocking back to Fabrik week after week.